Monday, December 17, 2012

hiatus

taking a little blogging break
won't be posting until after first of year
will be reading other blogs as I can
 
such a sad time
but we trust in you Lord Jesus
and we thank you that you came to our world
for our salvation
and that you knew we needed to be rescued
 
from the bottom of our hearts
Koda and me wish you peace and love this Christmas season
and thank you for being our friends
we love you all 
 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Christmas prayer


Many of you may have seen this already from Max Lucado after yesterday's tragic, horrific events in Connecticut.  I think he prayed and said it so well.  As I continue to pray for the families of such an incomprehensible tragedy, one that will affect their lives forevermore, I will also pray that the message of the hope of Jesus continues to get out to a world that desperately needs him (even if they can't see that right now of their need for him).
Dear Jesus,
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Hopefully,
Your Children

(its okay if you don't comment on this; just pray)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

my mom

My mom, like most moms, was wonderful.  She was the best. 

She was fiercely independent; she didn't like to ask others for help. 

She was so very wise, although I didn't see a lot of that wisdom until after she was already gone and I look back at the lessons she taught me.

She was incredibly brave, though she probably wouldn't have labeled herself as such.  She up and moved her three young children from her supportive family to escape the cold winters of Pennsylvania, relocating us to Southern California, basically starting over again pretty much from scratch.

She had a quiet faith in Jesus.  She prayed, she went to church, at times she would read her Bible.  She prayed for three good children; that was one of her deepest prayers.  I joke and say God answered her prayer and two of her children are good (me excluded) but in reality, I too am good; we all know Jesus and our spouses do too and our children know him too (though perhaps two of them aren't walking the straight and narrow path of him right now, but we keep praying).

She could bake and cook.  Her fried chicken was so good.  Not only did she fry it, but then she would bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes to crisp it yet it was so moist.  I can't duplicate it, nor her burritos, nor her stew, nor her chicken soup, nor the cabbage pie, among so many other recipes.  And the nut roll she made, the breads at Christmas and Easter, again so delicious.

She could sew.  She made clothes.  She made quilts.  She made Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls that were so adorable.  I totally forgot she had made these dolls until a friend at church, who knew us in our younger days, small world, had told me a story about the doll my mom had made her little girl years ago.  That opened up a whole bunch of memories I had forgotten of my mom making them.  She would knit hats for an organization that distributed them to kids who needed a warm winter hat.

She was this and she was so much more. 

Life was hard for her, but God was always faithful.  I've said this before and I'll say it again.  The Bible talks about God having a special place in his heart for widows and the fatherless.  Widowed at 38 with three young children, never remarried, God took care of her and us.  Our needs were ALWAYS met in abundance; we never went without.  Yet most days she was able to be home with us at the end of the day when we got home from school, finishing her cleaning houses she did in time to do so.  It wasn't until years later when I was reading the Bible that it dawned on me that I was indeed fatherless, except for my heavenly father of course, yet I can attest God did take care of us so faithfully and still does to this day.

She was wonderful.  She was the best mom in the whole world, like every mother is the best mom in the world, but she was my mom and I am thankful God let me be her daughter.

Six years ago today she went home to Jesus. I like to say it gets easier to miss her but it doesn't. It gets easier in the grieving, as you all know who have grieved a loved one, but we always do miss them. I'll see her again, for that I am thankful to you Jesus.  In the meantime, say "hi" to her for me Lord and tell her she was the best mom for me.

I love you mom.

I love you Jesus.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Gracie's Diary; a book review



Many of you might know Bobbi and Gracie through their blog Gracie Owns Me.  Gracie is an adorable dog who let's say has a way to be mischievous and get into a lot of trouble, but deep down she is deeply loved by Bobbi and like most pets brings much love and happiness and laughs to her family.

Bobbi recently wrote and had published a book (Gracie's Diary, a Memoir) about her and her second husband, Gary, meeting online, their relationship before marriage, their marriage and early years, their agreeing to get a dog, Gracie, the chaos Gracie caused at times, and the struggles Gary had in dealing with his ex-wife over issues to be able to see his then young daughter after their divorce despite his best efforts to continue to try to have a relationship with her, which included at times 12 hour drives to where she lived, only to be rejected by his ex-wife to not see his daughter.

After the book was published, Bobbi had a contest on her blog to give away the books.  I entered the contest but told her regardless if I won or lost the contest, I would still get a copy of the book, even if I bought it, and read it and review it on my blog. As luck would have it, I was one of six winners and received a copy of Gracie's Diary, a Memoir, to read.

What struck me about the book was Bobbi's and Gary's willingness to have their life written in pages of a book that would be read by total strangers as well as friends and acquaintances.  They had some very tough years of adjusting to married life together, fixing up their first home together in West Virginia, adapting to a puppy that basically refused to be potty trained, as well as dealing with their children from their respective previous marriages.  I ached as I read some of their struggles for there were painful ones and painful lessons learned. 

Gary truly did his best to try to maintain a relationship with his young daughter despite his ex-wife doing everything she could to prevent such a relationship, but in the end he realized the relationship would only happen after his daughter was an adult and if she was strong enough to be able to get past the brainwashing that had been done to her for years regarding her father and other family members.  He became instrumental in offering support to other parents going through similar situations. 

Through it all, Gracie provided to be that comic relief that they often needed despite her antics of destroying this or that.

In the end of the book, there is no resolution to the relationship between father and daughter, but there is acceptance life will go on.  Several wonderful things do happen in Bobbi's and Gary's life including birth of grandchildren. 

It is a book of a couple's life together. Of trying to blend together families, of trying to adapt to each other, of dealing with the struggles that life throws us. Of determination, of hope, of love, of commitment, of God working in their lives.

I truly did enjoy reading the book. I've been reading Bobbi's blog for over two years now. Her wit and humor in writing Gracie's take of things can be hilarious at times. I particularly liked the entry when she mentioned perhaps getting a king size bed so that there would be room for the two of them plus Gracie and Gary's take that Gracie would still manage to hog the majority of the bed. I could definitely relate to that.

I do have to admit the book was painful to read at times seeing the struggles they had early on in their marriage and life together, but in the end they have persevered and are still together, still in love with each other despite the obstacles. It is a story of love and a story of a dog that kind of ties them all together.

It is a good read and I would highly recommend the book and Bobbi's blog.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

password


Linking up with Cate's 6WS meme today.

Here's my six words:

Time to change the password already?

On my work computer, we have to change the password every 90 days; its built into the program for HIPAA protection, etc. I get a warning "your password will expire in five days, consider changing it". I got the warning today. I just thought I changed my password. These 90 days or so go by way too fast!!

Without letting it be known on how I keep track of passwords, I use a certain popular name here in a different variation and add a symbol or number to it at the end so I can keep track of the passwords. Otherwise, I'd be likely to forget it and we aren't suppose to write down our passwords in places where people could see them because that is another HIPAA violation.

Enjoy the weekend!

To play along or check out more entries, click here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I cannot do a short post for the life of me

Okay, I'm going to try to do a short update with not a lot of words. Bullet points. Think I can do this and keep it short?

Have you gotten any Christmas cards yet in the mail? I was just thinking about this the other day. Does anyone even send cards any more? We haven't gotten any, I'm not expecting a lot. I think maybe I sent five cards last year and got about the same back.

Koda turned eight years old December 1st. Can you believe it?

Son slept walked last night.  He's done it a few times, just not recently that I have seen the evidence of it.  I walked down the hall this morning and saw the front door open. I closed it, thinking maybe he had gone outside to get something from his car and forgot to close the door on his way in.  Then turned the coffee pot on and looked and saw the door to the back yard was open.  Which is really weird because we never leave that door open. We'll leave the front door open in hot weather (all the doors have those security type of bars on them so we live in "Fort Knox" so to speak so we were safe).  Then I looked and saw the sliding glass door to the other side of the back yard was opened a bit. I knew something was up, but then figured it had to be him sleep walking since I had heard him at about 2:30 a.m. and heard him in the kitchen/back part of the house. 

We went downtown to feed the homeless last night again.  We partnered with another group and brought pizzas plus some other snacks. I had gone through all our coats/jackets we didn't use any more and took them with us. Hubby's brother and sister-in-law came with us. I think it was a rewarding experience for all.  Again, it was very humbling.  You can tell that some on the streets are used to getting help from other organizations (and I'm not knocking these organizations) in that they are only allowed perhaps one of this or one of that because when we had all the goodies out on the table and told them to help themselves, so many said "if I get a water, can I also get a juice" (yes, take as much as you want). Or the mom who was with one of her children and said "can I take something for my other children who are over there?" (yes, take as much as you want). Again, everyone was so very polite; they do not take unless you offer and they are almost shy to take more than one or two or something. I have definitely found my new ministry.

I'm off on Christmas!! I'm so excited. With the company I work for, their policy is you can't ask for a holiday off until it is 60 days before it (which makes sense because people could ask for a holiday a year in advance). Then you are supposed to hear if you get the holiday off within 35 days of the holiday. It was way past the deadline and I hadn't heard. I was really thinking I wouldn't get the time off, but yesterday when I clocked in and double checked my leave request, it was granted. I had even made plans around not having it off to get together with family on other days, etc. But I'm off Saturday before Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Thanks for all the well wishes/prayers for son and his cold. He's all better, as luck would have it, I got sick a few days later but am better except for a cough at times, and hubby is now fighting it. I guess the family who shares germs stays together????

We have a string of lights up outside!! No tree yet and not sure if we are going to put up one; that's for son to do if he wants one. But I do have a bit more Christmas spirit than I have had in previous years. A lot of you know my struggles this time of year, but this year I am pretty excited about it.

Especially the rum cake we'll be making (any one remember that?) We have a new stove coming Monday. Ours quite hasn't worked really well since we moved in here. I think it had to do with the time my MIL had put a bag of chips in the oven and put the oven on (poor lady, she suffered from dementia) and it caused a fire that had to be put out with a fire extinguisher. Anyway, it was always hit and miss to get the oven to work. So we finally took the plunge to get a new stove which is coming Monday. The sacrifices we do to make a holiday tradition (rum cake).

Okay, I didn't do well. This is way too long..........

Kudos to anyone who read it all!!